52 Weeks to College: Week 32 -- Managing Your Way through the February Lull

It has finally come.  The February lull.  If you have been working your 52 Weeks plan steadily, you really don’t have much to do with regard to college admissions this week. Maybe an interview or two. Maybe some things related to financial aid. But nothing big. Yay! Stay on track by handling the lull well.

Week 32 To-Dos

Every Week

  • Check your email, voicemail, texts, and snail mail for any communications that relate to applying to college. Read them and take whatever action is necessary.
  • Update your parents about what you’re doing. This regular communication will work wonders in your relationship with your parents during this stress-filled year.  

This Week 

  • Interview with colleges.
  • Finish your FAFSA and keep copies of all the underlying documentation.
  • Check for new scholarship opportunities and complete applications for any that pertain to you.

Tips & Tricks

Let admissions officers do their work.

Right now admissions officers are incredibly busy reading applications, yours included. You want them to concentrate on that task. So contact the admissions office when necessary, send in the suggested updates, and then leave them alone!

Refocus yourself on doing well to the very last day of your senior year.

Contrary to popular belief, what you do after you submit your applications (and even after you’ve been admitted) matters. It matters because all admissions offers are conditional on your successfully completing high school. It matters because it helps when it comes to getting in off waitlists. It matters because your record follows you. It matters because you’ll feel better about yourself if you end high school well. Keep up your grades, give your senior project in a class your best effort, and go for the gold when it comes to your activities. It matters.

Avoid getting caught up in drama of the rumor mill.

How do all too many applicants (and their parents) occupy themselves during this long period of waiting? Talking, texting, posting with other anxious applicants and parents. News flash: none of this serves you. Obsessing about when decisions will be out doesn’t influence when decisions will be out. Crowd sourcing your chances for admission doesn’t change your chances for admission. So do yourself a favor and stop talking, texting, posting about college admissions.

You can read more about what to do post submission in chapter 23 of our book.

About the Authors:

Alison Cooper Chisolm heads the college admissions consulting practice at Ivey Consulting. She came to private consulting after working in admissions for more than 10 years at three selective universities (Southern Methodist University, University of Chicago, and Dartmouth College).

Anna Ivey is the former Dean of Admissions at the University of Chicago Law School and founded Ivey Consulting to help college, law school, and MBA applicants navigate the admissions process and make smart choices about higher education.

You can find more college admissions tips in their book How to Prepare a Standout College Application (Wiley 2013), and follow them on Twitter and Facebook

About the 52 Weeks to College Series:

52 Weeks to College is a week-by-week plan for applying to college. It breaks this complex and difficult project down into weekly to-do lists with supporting tips and tricks for getting it all done. Based on the Master Plan for applying to college found in our book, How to Prepare a Standout College Application52 Weeks to College is designed for any applicant who intends to apply to top U.S. colleges. For those of you who are just discovering the 52 Weeks series and want to catch up, click here.